Monday, August 25, 2014

Be Prepared...Do you have a Basic Disaster Supplies Kit in your Home?

We recently made one with a Rubbermaid Roughneck Tote from Home Depot

Disclosure:  This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media and Rubbermaid, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #fallfixup

It was a sunny morning on Monday August 11, 2014 making it appear as if it was going to be just another average Michigan summer day.  Around noon it started to rain and it didn't stop raining for nine hours making it Detroit's wettest day in 89 years.  By the time rush hour started that evening the ground was saturated to the point that flash floods began to submerge roads and freeways throughout the Metro Detroit area.  More than a thousand cars were abandoned as they became engulfed by rushing water.  Thousands of people found themselves with flooded basements, without power and in some cases, of all things to lose access to on this wet summer afternoon, without water as communities' infrastructure were overwhelmed or washed away.  Some of the flooded highways looked more like rivers than roads for several days following the great rainfall.  Many businesses didn't open up for a day or two following the floods.  People found themselves stranded with no transportation, power or water.  Miles and miles of street curbs became flooded not with water, but with all the garbage people were tossing out from flood damage to their homes.  Metro Detroit had become a disaster scene...and no one had seen it coming until the flooding had started. A lot of people were caught unprepared.

The interstate freeway by our home the day after the great flood of 2014

Garbage from flooded homes lined the streets of Metro Detroit

Our family had it pretty lucky.  My wife and I made it home from work without our cars getting submerged and our basement was one of only a handful in our city that didn't flood.  While thousands lost their power and water service, we didn't experience any disruptions.  The event was a reminder that disasters can happen unexpectedly and at any time.  It also made me think that we should put together a disaster supply kit for our home because up until now we had neglected doing that.

So what should go into a basic disaster supply kit?  According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), every home should have stockpiled the following supplies in case of a disaster impacting your community:
  • Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.
  • Flashlights and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit.
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  • Wrench and pliers to turn off utilities.
  • Manual can opener  for food.
  • Local maps.
  • Cell phone with chargers or solar charger.
  • Copy of your insurance policy.
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
  • Complete change of clothes for each member of your family, especially if dealing with wet or cold conditions.
  • Household chlorine bleach & medicine dropper -  when diluted nine parts water to one part bleach can be used as a disinfectant.  In emergency can treat water by using 16 drops of liquid bleach per gallon of water.
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • Matches in a waterproof case.
  • Paper cups, plates, towels and plastic utensils.
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.
Once we threw together all these items, plus an extra Swiss army knife I had in the garage because you can always use one of those when you are in a bind, for our disaster supplies kit we needed to find something to store all this stuff in...and once you put everything together it is a lot of stuff.  So we headed to Home Depot to pick something up.

Rubbermaid 18 Gal. Roughneck Tote @ Home Depot
We needed a container for our disaster supplies kit that would be durable and water resistant.  The Rubbermaid 18 Gallon Roughneck Tote was a perfect pick for our needs.  Big enough to store our items but small enough to conveniently place in our home it was just what we were looking for.  Another plus is that this sturdy container is designed to withstand harsh temperatures that go from hot to cold.  Roughneck containers are made with a durable polyethylene material that Rubbermaid backs with a 10 year limited warranty.  It also has a lid that securely snaps on to protect the contents you place inside.  Guaranteed durability and nicely priced at $8.97 made this a great buy for us during our visit to Home Depot.

If you are concerned that you may need a storage tote larger than 18 gallons for your family's needs Rubbermaid also produces a 54 gallon Roughneck tote that you can pickup at Home Depot.

Mission Accomplished! We have a basic disaster supply kit packed and stored.  If disaster strikes hopefully we'll be prepared for it.  Are you ready for the unexpected?

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